The 4 of Pentacles is a card in the deck that can mean so many different things depending on position and context. Four is a stable number, prompting the idea of structure, solid foundations, security, focus, and even balance. One just needs to briefly consider the 4 points of a compass, the 4 seasons, even the basic 4 legs of a chair or 4 walls of a house. We as humans are even blessed with 4 limbs to assist us in moving and doing.
To me 4 is the representative of safety in a way. This safety can be detrimental to flourishing and growing. A friend and peer quite a while back spoke of the fortress like design of the 4 of Disks image in the Thoth deck and how the figure in the Waite-Smith deck could easily fit right at home in the middle of that fortress. That comment struck me deeply and I had to see it, and it truly gave me further insight into the aspects of the 4 of Pentacles that opened my perception wider.
Traditional meanings aside, the 4 of Pentacles can at times show us we are holding on far too tightly to what we have, and not necessarily possessions and money – perhaps our physical situation. The idea that we need to address this grip we have on staying in this position, staying ‘safe’ because it’s ours, and we have toiled to get here is ludicrous when the reality is that what is protecting us will become our prison and our isolator if we allow it.
Holding on hard to what we have logically means that we are not able to reach out for anything new and healthy – our hands and our minds and our hearts are too focused on guarding what, in the end we will have to let go of as we exit this realm anyway.
I cannot see much joy in this image. I cannot see that it is comfortable to remain in this position for a long long time – and yet many of us spend our lives like this. Too frightened to let go of the edge and float.
Some delude themselves into believing those golden coins are the most precious thing in existence. Others delude themselves that the fortress will protect them from the world. Then there are those who have been shattered and now guard everything so closely.
Nothing is permanent, and we can only remain in the same position for so long before we begin to ache. Is it truly worth it out of fear and the need for security, which is an illusion anyway?
It might get quite lonely guarding what we think is at risk constantly. Is it truly that dodgy out there that we forsake so much else? How can something that means so much to us that we are willing to sit so tight, to never let go a little, bring us peace and love and light?
Get out there and live it authentically and beautifully. In a flash it will be over and the only thing that will matter is how well you loved.